“I’ve become a better leader and teacher because Ben trusted me with opportunities for both.”
A young soldier said this to me recently as we were visiting the Fort Hood Soldiers Hospitality House. Ben and Melody Bloker have directed this ministry for over six years and have seen countless lives, including this soldier, transformed by Christ.
Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas is one of the largest Army installations in the world with over 40,000 soldiers stationed there. The Cadence hospitality house is a beautiful 6,500 square foot home that sits on 16 acres. The grounds have a hiking path, a full size outdoor basketball court with lights, and a RV hookup area. It also has a pavilion for picnics, events and weddings, a play area for children, and even a few frisbee golf holes.
What makes this place a home, though, is the care and hospitality offered by Melody and Ben and their kids. They love the soldiers and their families well, and it shows!
Joyce and I were recently there to speak at a “Raise the Roof” fundraiser in which $36,000 was raised toward a new roof for the hospitality house. One of their soldiers is a gifted concert pianist, and he blessed the 60+ participants with an amazing and stirring concert of Christmas music (pictured above).
Fort Hood has a reputation for being a “dark place,” where soldiers can sometimes live in a challenging and difficult environment. It takes a team of servants to shine the gospel light in such a place, and Cadence has eleven staff on duty there. In addition to the hospitality house staff, our Cadence team members also teach men and women’s Bible studies, host retreats and day trips, serve on a chapel leadership team, take soldiers on work projects and mission trips, and are involved in numerous discipleship relationships.
All of that in conjunction and coordination with the local churches, parachurches, and chaplains makes for a place where love and the gospel are powerfully on the move in that military community!
Your gifts and prayers make this ministry happen. As we enter another year of life and ministry, I want to thank you on behalf of military people at Fort Hood and around the world for your partnership in the advancement of the gospel.